Newsletter #1852

I remember as a boy in the ’70s there was a mystique to a game against Swindon in 1963, at the time City’s lowest-ever attendance. Although only 8,000 were there, as legend had it, 80,000 would say they were there.

As the erratic ’80s turned into the nihilistic ’90s, things changed. It became, were you there at Lincoln? Were you there at York… Macclesfield… Wycombe… Mansfield… the list went on and interminably on.

Tonight, a lucky band of brothers will in the future be able to say… We were at Madrid! I’m very jealous and very happy for you all! Really enjoy it.

There is a little travel advice in AND FINALLY in today’s issue for those of you travelling and reading this on handheld devices. A follow up to Phil’s thought-provoking Hillsborough article from MCIVTA 1851 and a rather ironic, though rather well put together piece from Andy Longshaw, on the move to combine the Premier League with UFA and the NBA!

Wherever you are tonight, drink it in!

Next Game: Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, 18 September 2012, 7.45pm


I had to write in after listening to Peter Crouch being interviewed after his ‘basketball’.

For those of you who missed this gem, not only did he evade the issue of his double handball but he also said that Stoke “deserved a point”. Given the possession stats of over 50% for the away team and a shot ratio of 15 to 4 including the better chances to score legitimate goals (I assume Crouch’s goal was included in their shot count) then I can only conclude that Crouch’s excessive height means that the oxygen is very thin up by his head.

Also, in these days of highly-polished and slickly-marketed football it’s great to see Stoke keep up more basic, traditional local pastimes like “elbow the black Italian”.

You may remember Robert Huth in the FA Cup Final with his classic rendition of this Olde English farce which involves a Stoke player, the officials and Mario’s face. If you are unfamiliar with the rules of this game, just remember that the referee and linesmen must pretend not to see it and then berate the Italian for holding his face like he has just been elbowed (yes, I know he has been, but that’s not the point). Full marks to the FA as well in playing along as it would spoil the game if they were to retrospectively charge the Stoke players with violent conduct.

As those of us who understand the rules of this particular game know, that sort of retrospective punishment can only be administered to the Italian in this game.

Never mind, Mario. Keep smiling (while you still have all your teeth).

Andy Longshaw <Andy(at)>


After many years of reading MCIVTA and not contributing I feel I have to now and congratulate Phil on his excellent piece about Hillsborough; I think he has said all that any true football fan of any club would and should feel over this horrendous disaster and cover up by the police and others.

I was at home that day as my wife was due to have my son at any time and I vividly remember seeing the TV images and thinking something is seriously wrong here; this is not hooligans fighting amongst themselves, these fans were fighting for their lives and no one was doing anything to help. My son is now 23 and I cannot imagine being without him so my heart goes out to all the families and also the survivors for the hurt and pain they have had to endure for the disgraceful time of 23 years to actually find out the truth.

If there is any kind of decency in the British government they should make it a priority that all the people from the top to the bottom of the cover up be brought to justice and those on the day that failed to ensure the safety of all in the ground and assist correctly in the disaster be brought to rights as well.

I had never visited the old Hillsborough ground but I can remember in the ’80s being in a few away grounds penned in behind those fences and feeling very unsafe and also claustrophobic, so much so that I stopped going to away games virtually until the all-seater stadiums came in. Let us not forget that all fans were treated as sub-human in the 80s just like Phil said and it is a miracle that more disasters like this didn’t happen during that period.

In memory of the 96 my sincere best wishes to the families and Liverpool FC at this difficult time.

David Jones <david.jones(at)>


For anyone going to the game in Madrid I would recommend doing a tour of the stadium; I’ve been over 3 times to see Real and it really is a great stadium.

There is an Irish bar on a side street to Plaza Mayor and they have all the usual British food/beers.

You may even spot an overweight Spiderman, he’s there daily!

At the airport, look for a free paper IN MADRID, which gives a great view on what’s happening in the city.

Taxi’s from the airport to down town are about 20 euros, or ride the underground for 2 euros-a-person.

There are bars all around the ground and the away fans are in the north side of the stadium.

Philip Telford <telfordpnt(at)>


16 September 2012

Reading               1 - 3  Tottenham Hotspur     24,160

15 September 2012

Norwich City          0 - 0  West Ham United       26,806
Arsenal               6 - 1  Southampton           60,097
Aston Villa           2 - 0  Swansea City          34,005
Fulham                3 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  25,691
Manchester United     4 - 0  Wigan Athletic        75,142
Queens Park Rangers   0 - 0  Chelsea               18,271
Stoke City            1 - 1  Manchester City       27,101
Sunderland            1 - 1  Liverpool             41,997

League table as at 18 September 2012

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Chelsea          4   6  10
 2 Manchester Utd   4   5   9
 3 Arsenal          4   7   8
 4 Manchester City  4   3   8
 4 Swansea City     3   6   7
 6 West Brom A.     4   2   7
 7 Everton          4   1   7
 8 West Ham Utd     4   1   7
 9 Fulham           4   4   6
10 Tottenham H.     4   1   5
11 Newcastle Utd    4  -1   5
12 Stoke City       4   0   4
13 Aston Villa      4  -1   4
14 Wigan Athletic   4  -4   4
15 Sunderland       3   0   3
16 Norwich City     4  -5   3
17 Liverpool        4  -5   2
18 QPR              4  -7   2
19 Reading          3  -4   1
20 Southampton      4  -9   0

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1852